a summer afternoon's picnic

This morning I got The River Wife, by Heather Rose, and even before I had opened it I knew it was an outdoors kind of story. So after lunch I took it down to the meadow, and I lay a blanket beneath my favourite willow tree, and spent a quiet while reading.

I have walked beside the river all my life and listened to its music. I have climbed to the reaches where rivers are born and I have swum in all the lakes that rest in the hands of these mountains. I have watched lakes filled with sky, hurried by wind, hidden by mist, whispering in rain. Lakes that overflowed into one great river that slipped away from the mountains ... p2, The River Wife.

I am not a water woman, as you know. I am a sky lover - a sky boned with trees and always whispering stories. But this book promises to be soulful, poetic, magical. Thank you Alexi for the recommendation.

So it was fresh peaches, chocolate wafers, and lyrical river reading, in the willow shadows. I watched butterflies and swallows flutter about the trees and hedges. I listened to the songs of tui, swans, breezes, and three crystalline bell chimes that came out of nowhere (and a fourth, very quiet). Sitting on an old and much-storied blanket amongst such comfortable peace, I kept thinking how lucky I was to be there. Really, it was an idyll, the sort you find in beautiful books about rivers and dream-shaped women.

After a while though, I wanted to come home. Some of us women can sit only so long in wild beauty before things start to ache : knees, hips, overly tender imaginations.

So I came home to a cup of tea and a squishy couch, and to write down where I'd been. Because putting words to experiences seals them in my heart, gives them longevity.


  1. I hope you enjoy the book despite not being a water woman :)

  2. sounds like a perfectly lovely time
    even coming home to tea